Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 - Thistle Hotels

In Malaysia, food is a big part of their culture. As the population is made up mainly of Malays, Chinese and indians, the Malaysian cuisine is strongly influenced by these cultures and other surrounding ethnic groups. 

In Malaysia, food is a big part of their culture. As the population is made up mainly of Malays, Chinese and indians the Malaysian cuisine is strongly influenced by these cultures and other surrounding ethnic groups. Food found in Malaysia are also reminiscent of Thai, Arabic and Indonesian cuisines.

The staples of Malaysian food are generally rice and noodles. A common way to have rice in Malaysia is with coconut milk, giving the rice a rich fragrance. Noodles comes from the Chinese influence and a common type of noodle consumed in Malaysia is the rice vermicelli. Almost with every meal one can expect either rice or noodles to accompany the dishes. Due to the Indian influences, roti and dhosai are also commonly eaten by Malaysians.

This food culture is a big attraction for people visiting the country. For people in Singapore crossing the border to Johor Bahru means they can spend the day eating through the hawker centres for half the price. Hawker centres are similar to market places where a group of food vendors set up stalls or small shops to sell a variety of inexpensive dishes, not unlike street food. Johor Bahru is famous for such hawker centres. If visiting JB, ask your Johor Bahru hotel which hawker centres are worth visiting. They are typically found near public transport hubs and urban areas.

As the climate in Malaysia is tropical, salads are commonly consumed as it is so hot. Below is a Malaysian salad recipe made of typical Malaysian ingredients that you can try at home.

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Ingredients

1 (about 800 g) banana blossom

20 g (¼ cup) desiccated coconut

150 ml coconut milk

150 g green prawns, peeled, cleaned, half the shells reserved

3 tsp lime or lemon juice

4 red Asian eschalots, thinly sliced

3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced

Sambal belacan ingredients

2 tbsp dried shrimp paste (belacan)

5 long red chillies, sliced

Preparation for Sambal belacan

Stir fry the shrimp paste in a wok and break it up until it is dry and crumbly. In a mortar and pestle grind the chillies with the fried shrimp paste until it is all smooth.

Preparation for the salad

Peel away the outer layers of the banana blossom. Halve the soft white core lengthwise and blanch in boiling water. Add salt. after about 15 minutes drain and remove excess water. Slice thinly.

Toast coconut in a pan over low heat until lightly golden. Grind the coconut in a pestle and mortar lightly.

Bring to boil, the coconut milk, 100ml water and 1/4 tsp salt. Add the prawn shells and cook until they turn pink. Discard shells and add prawns. Simmer for 3 minutes. Let cool down.

Add lime juice and the sambal bellman to the prawns and stir. Add sliced banana blossom, eschalots, toasted coconut and sliced lime leaves and stir.

Serve on plate.

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Thistle Hotels

Thistle hotels are part of Guoman Hotel Management (UK) Limited operating a number of hotels throughout the UK and Malaysia. The guest experience is everything; wireless internet access in every area of the hotels and personal service delivered in a warm, efficient and straightforward manner. With 32 hotels UK wide and 2 hotels in the exotic peninsula of Malaysia, the name may be the same, but they’re showing the world a very different face.Paul Monteath
P: 0477 661 114
W: www.thistle.com

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Malaysian cuisine

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